Date: July 16, 2007

Aussies no match for bolter

Australian trio Matthew Millar, Peter O&aposMalley and Wade Ormsby finished well back in the Scottish Open, which was won by rank outsider Gregory Havret in a sudden-death play-off against world No.3 Phil Mickelson. Havret, ranked 320 in the world booked a place in the Open at Carnoustie starting on Thursday after Mickelson, a $1.04 favourite with five holes to play, suffered a topsy-turvy finish. The American went birdie-bogey over the last six holes then bogeyed the first play-off hole after hitting a poor drive off the tee. Havret, whose one previous Tour win in nearly 200 starts was at the 2001 Italian Open, was himself bunkered in two, but he splashed out to within six feet of the flag and when he made the par putt was showered in champagne by his compatriots Thomas Levet and Raphael Jacquelin. “It&aposs just a dream – I can&apost say more,” said Havret, whose nerve was tested in a different way only a month ago when he faced a bull in a Spanish bullring during a bizarre soccer match on a friend&aposs stag party. His three-under closing 68 was far from the lowest round of his career, but it was certainly the sweetest. Havret took the trophy with a 14-under-par total of 270, while Mickelson still moves up to world No.2 ahead of Jim Furyk, but clearly has to work to do yet on his driving before he tries to deny Tiger Woods a hat-trick of Open crowns. When they went into their play-off it still did not look an even contest. Havret had lost his one previous play-off on the circuit, while in America Mickelson&aposs record was seven wins and one defeat – to Jesper Parnevik seven years ago. But Havret fully deserved his success and a week after the disappointment of losing out on an Open spot to Swede Pelle Edberg by virtue of a worse last round in the European Open after they had both finished third he is into Europe&aposs top 10 this season. Third was two-time winner Ernie Els, who came roaring into contention by playing eight holes around the turn in six-under. The South African was only one behind at that point, but bogeyed the 16th and although he remarkably birdied the 455-yard 18th for the fourth day in a row it was not enough. Joint fourth were Luke Donald after a 64, Els&apos compatriots Louis Oosthuizen and Richard Sterne and also Edberg, who eight days ago had never finished higher than ninth in a Tour event. Millar was the best of the Australians, tied for 57th on three-over after a final round of 73, while O&aposMalley (73) and Ormsby (70) were a host further back in 60th position. Result from the Scottish Open (par 71) -14 Gregory Havret 68 64 70 68, Phil Mickleson 65 68 68 69 -13 Ernie Els 69 66 71 65 -11 Luke Donald 701 69 70 64, Pelle Edberg 67 68 72 66, Louis Oosthuizen 70 71 64 68, Richard Sterne 72 69 68 64 -10 Mikko Ilonen 66 70 70 68, Ian Poulter 69 67 71 67, Steve Webster 68 67 69 70 Also: +3 Matthew Millar (Australia) 72 69 73 73 +4 Peter O&aposMalley (Australia) 70 70 75 73, Wade Ormsby (Australia) 70 70 78 70